Latvia’s top social network hacked amid voting

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Latvia’s President Raimonds Vejonis (L) and his wife Iveta Vejone (2nd L) cast their ballots at a polling station in Ogre, Latvia, during general elections on October 6, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Ilmars ZNOTINS

Latvia’s top social network fell prey to hackers sending a pro-Kremlin message Saturday as the nation was voting in a general election tipped to yield a pro-Russian and populist government.

The Draugiem.lv network, known as Frype.com in the neighbouring countries, flashed a message saying in Russian “Comrades Latvians, this concerns you. The borders of Russia have no end.”

It echoes pro-Kremlin sayings “Russia ends wherever it wants” and “Russia can choose what countries it will border any time”.

The network also displayed images of unmarked Russian soldiers in green uniforms annexing Crimea, Russian tanks parading in Moscow and Vladimir Putin smirking while looking sideways.

Trailing only Facebook in popularity in the Baltic eurozone and NATO member, Draugiem.lv went offline with investigations into the attack under way, Draugiem Group spokesman Janis Palkavnieks told journalists.

Polls have suggested the pro-Russian Harmony party is set to win the vote and possibly team up with populist parties to form the next Latvian government.